ATLANTIC, IA – Cass County Public Health will host a new session of A Matter of Balance beginning Monday, June 10. This free class is designed to help decrease falls and help older adults manage their fears about falling.

A Matter of Balance is an award-winning program to help older adults learn to manage their concerns about falling, make changes to reduce the risk of falling, and increase their physical activity. It includes 8 weekly two-hour sessions for a small group of 8-12 participants led by trained facilitators.

Cass County Public Health has been offering this program since 2018 because falls among adults aged 65 and older are common, costly, and preventable. According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury for adults ages 65 years and older, with 1 in 4 older adults reporting falling every year. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among adults ages 65 and older. The age-adjusted fall death rate increased by 41% from 2012 to 2021. Over 30% of older adult Iowans reported a fall in the past year, totaling over 157,000 individual older adult falls.

For more information, or to sign up, call Cass County Public Health at 712-243-7443.

Atlantic, IA – Cass Health’s next session of Healthy U will feature Kasey Meneely, DPT discussing LSVT BIG. The session will be held Thursday, February 15th at noon in Conference Room 2. 

LSVT BIG is an intense one-on-one training program for people with Parkinson’s disease or other neurological conditions, with an emphasis on the quality and largeness of movement. LSVT BIG helps improve a patient’s physical abilities, and therapy sessions focus on a specific routine of daily BIG exercises, walking with BIG movements, and incorporating these techniques into patient identified, difficult daily tasks to promote more confidence with balance and movement. As an LSVT BIG certified clinician, Meneely works with many patients who live with Parkinson’s disease and other neurologic conditions that impact how confident they feel with movement during everyday tasks. 

Meneely graduated from Creighton University in 2016 with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She offers a full spectrum of care within physical therapy, but has special interest in neurological disorders, pelvic floor and pre/post-natal health, and acute inpatients. Kasey is licensed and board certified by the Iowa Board of Physical & Occupational Therapy and is a member of the Iowa Physical Therapy Association and the America Physical Therapy Association.  

Space is limited! A free boxed lunch is provided for all attendees, so reservations are required. Call 712-243-7479 to reserve your seat. For more information about Healthy U, visit casshealth.org/healthyu. 

Atlantic, IA – Cass Health and Adair County Health System are pleased to jointly announce that Dr. Marcela Pineda will be offering an obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) clinic at Adair County Health System in Greenfield, Iowa. Dr. Pineda will provide care to patients on the first Wednesday morning of every month. 

“Cass Health continues to grow as the regional center for obstetrics care, and Dr. Pineda is one of the primary reasons behind that growth. With her outreach clinics in Red Oak, Corning, and now Greenfield, more women in southwest Iowa can receive obstetrics and gynecology care at a location that’s convenient for them. Being able to deliver care close to home increases the safety and health of our rural communities. We are proud to contribute to the well-being of our family, friends and neighbors,” said Chief Operating Officer Amanda Bireline. 

Catherine Hillestad. CEO of Adair County Health System stated “We are extremely excited to have Dr. Pineda come to ACHS. We know she will be an amazing asset to our community.” 

Dr. Pineda currently provides comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology care for women of all ages at the Atlantic Medical Center, Montgomery County Memorial Hospital, and Corning Medical Clinic. She completed her residency at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, New York, and she obtained her medical degree at Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She was the recipient of the Striving for Excellence Award and Recognition by Hospital Centro Medico Guatemala for outstanding performance as a Medical Resident. Dr. Pineda is certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 

Appointments with Dr. Pineda for all clinic locations can be scheduled by calling 712-243-2850.

Atlantic, IA – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced this week that Cass Health was awarded a rural hospital “Center of Excellence” designation. As part of that designation, grant funding to support and improve healthcare delivery in rural Iowa will provide $250,000 in funding each year for three years, totaling $750,000.

Centers of excellence increase access to multi-disciplinary specialty care and are devoted to tackling major health needs and disparities confronting rural Iowans. Cass Health plans to use the grant to focus on fetal and maternal health services in southwest Iowa. According to the Governor’s office, the awarded funds will help regional and local health systems build and enhance systems to ensure rural Iowans have the same access to specialized care as those living in metro areas.

Over the last twenty years in Iowa, there has been a major decline in the number of hospitals that provide labor and delivery services, most often in rural areas. The Cass Health Centers of Excellence program aims to improve rural maternal health services in southwest Iowa.

“Over the last three years, Cass Health has developed collaborative partnerships with Montgomery County Hospital in Red Oak, Iowa, and CHI Corning Hospital in Corning, Iowa, to continue to provide maternal health services in Montgomery County and Adams County. Cass Health has also collaborated with Adair County Health System in Greenfield, Iowa, to initiate a maternal health outreach clinic in Adair County,” stated Cass Health Chief Executive Officer Brett Altman.

This regional partnership will provide women in these communities with maternal health services, including prenatal and postnatal care, that they would not have access to otherwise. Sustaining and growing OB outreach clinics in this rural region aim to reduce transportation and financial resource barriers. This will increase routine access to prenatal and postnatal care.

“Cass Health is fortunate to be in a position where we can grow as a regional leader in obstetrics care, notably because of the outstanding team of physicians and nurses here and because of our partnerships with healthcare organizations in our region,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Kolton Hewlett.

As counties around Cass have ceased deliveries, Cass Health has increased deliveries as women and families travel to Atlantic for healthcare services. In 2022, Cass Health delivered 144 babies from 34 unique zip codes, representing fifteen counties across three states.

“Over the next three years, Cass Health will use this grant funding to continue OB outreach services in Adair County, Adams County, and Montgomery County. We have also established an OB Navigator position which will be instrumental in expanding access to care. This role will navigate expecting parents through the health system, help coordinate care, and remove any barriers the patient may encounter by identifying critical resources,” stated Hewlett.

Atlantic, IA – The August session of Healthy U — Cass Health’s monthly lunch-and-learn series — will feature a presentation on “Older Adult Nutrition” by Beth Olsen, MS, RD, LD. The presentation will be on Thursday, August 17 at noon in Conference Room 2. 

Olsen graduated from Iowa State University with her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics in 2012 and Master of Science in Nutritional Sciences in 2013. She went on to complete her Dietetic Internship in 2014 and has been working as a Registered Dietitian ever since. Beth joined Cass Health in 2106 as the Director of Public Health, where she manages several community health initiatives and programs. In a unique dual role, she also serves as the Clinical Dietitian for Cass Health. 

 

Healthy U is a free educational series held every month at Cass Health that the public is encouraged to attend. During Healthy U, Cass Health providers and staff share health information on a different topic each month. Upcoming presenters include Dr. Matt Weresh and Lace Sindt, ARNP. 

 

A free boxed lunch is provided for all attendees, so reservations are required. Call 712-243-7479 to reserve your seat. For more information about Healthy U, visit casshealth.org/healthyu. 

Atlantic, IA – Cass Health proudly announces that Brenna Irlmeier, RN was honored with the DAISY Award during Nurses Week. 

Irlmeier has had her sights set on becoming a nurse since she was in kindergarten. Brenna was inspired by her dad, who was a volunteer EMT and firefighter in the Elk Horn community. She became a nurse in January of 2019, and after working in Omaha at a large hospital, she returned to the area and began working in the Cass Health Surgery Department in August 2021. 

“It is an honor to receive the DAISY award. The hard work you put in going to school, the hard work you put in each day, it’s just awesome to have someone remember what you did for them,” said Irlmeier. 

This case in particular was special. “I was shocked, because of the nature of our job most people don’t remember us. This was an on-call case, and knowing it was a pediatric case, it pulls at the heart strings more. As a mom, it’s hard to put your child in someone else’s care,” she said. 

She says being in surgery is a great fit for her, and she loves the team she works with. “It takes all of us a whole to do what we do, and it’s something new every day. I love it,” she said. 

Irlmeier’s nominator wrote: “Rising above all the amazing caregivers we encountered that day, was Brenna Irlmeier. Brenna was the surgery nurse that took my daughter down for her appendectomy. She came to the room, gathered a quick report, did the time out, the whole nine yards. She made sure to explain to my daughter what was going to happen and addressed her directly making sure she didn’t have any questions. Although my daughter is stoic and brave, it was then that the tears began to well and reality hit her. I looked into her eyes and could tell that she was scared, nervous, and crying. As her mother, I had to say goodbye and release her into Brenna’s care trusting that she would be in good hands. In that moment, I could see Brenna making it her highest priority to make my little girl feel safe. Although I couldn’t be present with her in the OR, I am confident that Brenna gave her best to my little girl. The first thing my daughter said to me when she woke up after surgery was, “that nurse was so nice mommy, she held my hand the whole time.” That is when the tears started welling in my own eyes because I knew in my heart that my baby felt safe and was well cared for. I’ve been to larger organizations with my children before and I never felt that they were cared for with the same compassion and empathy as was shown to us here at Cass Health and especially shown to my daughter by Brenna.” 

Nurses at Cass Health are honored twice annually with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.® The award is part of the DAISY Foundation’s mission to recognize the extraordinary, compassionate care nurses provide to patients and families every day. The DAISY Award committee at Cass Health thanks all nominators for their submissions. Each nurse who was nominated will be presented with a special pin and a copy of the nomination. 

The DAISY Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, by members of his family. Patrick died at the age of 33 in late 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), a little known but not uncommon auto-immune disease. (DAISY is an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System.)  The care Patrick and his family received from nurses while he was ill inspired this unique means of thanking nurses for making a profound difference in the lives of their patients and patient families. 

This is one initiative of The DAISY Foundation to express gratitude to the nursing profession.  Additionally, DAISY offers J. Patrick Barnes Grants for Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice Projects, The DAISY Faculty Award to honor inspiring faculty members in schools and colleges of nursing, and The DAISY in Training Award for nursing students. More information is available at http://DAISYfoundation.org. An online nomination form is available at https://www.casshealth.org/daisy. 

Please note that two Cass Health clinics will be temporarily closed while new flooring is installed. The Massena Medical Center, RHC will be closed from March 21-24, and the Anita Medical Center, RHC will be closed March 27-31. Appointments are available in Atlantic and Griswold; please call 712-243-2850 to schedule.

ATLANTIC, IOWA – Cass County Public Health has earned a prestigious endorsement from Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc., as a Blue Ribbon Affiliate, making it one of the top- performing home visiting affiliates within Parents as Teachers’ international network. The official designation was made in October 2022.

 

Being named a Blue Ribbon Affiliate affirms that Cass County Public Health is a high-quality member of the home visiting field, implementing the evidence-based Parents as Teachers model with fidelity. The program includes home visits, group connections, child screening, and connections to community resources. It equips parents with knowledge and resources to prepare their children for a stronger start in life and greater success in school.

“Parents as Teachers’ rigorous endorsement process is a test of our program’s accountability and credibility, and this award validates the work we are doing for our community, supporters, and most importantly, the children, parents, and families we serve,” said PAT Coordinator Nancy Gibson.

Cass County Parents as Teachers is a no-cost program for families who are expecting or have a child or children up to age 5, and it is funded by Boost for Families and Prevent Child Abuse Iowa. The program currently has openings for new families. For more information about PAT, please call 712-243-7475.

ATLANTIC – Cass County Public Health Parents as Teachers is offering free car seat inspections on Saturday, September 25th from 9 am to 11 am in the parking lot at the Ann W. Wickman Child Development Center at 703 Linn Street in Atlantic, enter in the north drive off 7th St.

Multiple certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will be on hand to inspect car seats, help parents install them correctly, give tips about car seat safety, and answer any questions.

There is no cost for the inspections, but appointments are needed. Please make an appointment online at cciaph.as.me/carseat or by calling 712-243-7475.

Atlantic, Iowa – Cass Health has been awarded a Top Workplaces 2021 honor by Iowa Top Workplaces. Cass Health received the #16 ranking of the top mid-sized employers in Iowa, their highest yet. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by employee engagement technology partner Energage LLC. The anonymous survey uniquely measures 15 culture drivers that are critical to the success of any organization: including alignment, execution, and connection, just to name a few.

“During this very challenging time, Top Workplaces has proven to be a beacon of light for organizations, as well as a sign of resiliency and strong business performance,” said Eric Rubino, Energage CEO. “When you give your employees a voice, you come together to navigate challenges and shape your path forward. Top Workplaces draw on real-time insights into what works best for their organization, so they can make informed decisions that have a positive impact on their people and their business.”

Cass Health CEO Brett Altman said, “For the seventh consecutive year our employees have made Cass Health an elite work environment. We are blessed to have such incredible staff that throughout these extraordinary circumstances have continued to provide superior experiences to our patients, colleagues and communities.”